Sunday, July 22, 2007

20 Years of "Summer School"

I can't say that I ever had to go to summer school, but I probably came dangerously close once or twice. (Thanks for nothing Mr. Gendreau!) Every June though, some teenager somewhere has to can their big July plans after report cards come out. But since it never happened to me, I'll call it a small sacrifice for inspiring one of the great 80's movies.

Before the film snobs start in, yes, I'm aware that classics like "Raging Bull" and "Rain Man" opened between 1980 and 1989. When I say 80's movies, I mean the fun ones that Roger Ebert loves to tear apart ("Fast Times," "Can't by me Love," etc.), but most of us can just enjoy for what they are.

20 years ago this very day, one of those memorable ones hit theaters. "Summer School," you may forget, was actually directed by comedy legend Carl Reiner and starred Mark Harmon, who's up there in that Tony Danza likability group (who hates Tony Danza?) It gave us a pre-"Cheers" Kirsty Alley and, of course, a great group of subpar students. Yes yes, an early appearance by the beautiful Courtney Thorne-Smith as Pam definitely made (ok, it still makes) this movie even more enjoyable. But it's horror film buff Francis "Chainsaw" Gremp, who leads the classroom anarchy and helps carry the movie. Chainsaw was played by Dean Cameron, who you've also seen in "Men at Work" and the "Fast Times" TV series, among other things. I caught up with the very friendly and VERY honest Dean Cameron in the car, to chat about his time on the "Summer School" set. And here is my first ever graphic language warning! (Dean loves to drop the F-bomb). Have a listen...

MP3 File

Links: Urgent & Confidential: Dean Cameron's Nigerian Spam Scam Scam
(DVD cover art courtesy of Paramount Home Video)

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